The TdF riders are preparing for the mountains - but so too are the GIMPS !


New Member
Jun 18, 2014
I was very impressed when I started watching the Dauphine on Eurosport to see the "public information" trailer for the TdF fronted by Chris Froome diplomatically requesting the public to treat riders with respect during le Tour - or anywhere else.

The words were softly uttered but the message was powerful as some infamous clips depicting bonkers "fans" chasing alongside screaming in riders ears were shown or publicity seeking idiots getting in the way to the extent that the riders had to lash out in self defence.

The film did not of course deal with the opposite end of the scale where we have "acceptable exhibitionism" as this could send out a mixed message. ie think of the marvelous old boy who dressed up as the devil for years or the cowboy racing his horse alongside the peloton, safely in the field of course . Generally this sort bring joy to all but do not interfere with the race. No encouragement needed for this, wonderful extroverts will always find a way.

However, this can be a fine line - I wasn't sure whether Dan Martin would be able to laugh about the giant Panda in Liege 2013 this side of his 40th birthday but I hear he now uses the photo on his Twitter account.

I hope the ad will have the desired effect but I very much doubt it. It has not been a problem in UK yet but who knows - the sport has become so popular now it's anyone's guess. I am not trying to play the amateur psychologist but I think the guys we want to discourage (and it seems 95% young men) fall into 3 broad types:

Loony Wannabees. Typically young guys running alongside their personal heroes screaming in their ears. Often young cyclists themselves.

Muppets as in 1 above plus male vanity - Often fit specimens who take the opportunity to show off their bodies in swimming trunks etc

Smart arses who dress up in joke or animal costumes so they can be "local heroes" forever amongst their mates

My proposition to deal with the problem is to use the power of language in order to ridicule and humiliate the idiots, along the lines of the old adage "Give a dog a bad name - and hang him" . If we can hi-jack or come up with appropriately contemptible titles for these people that fit the bill, act as a deterrent yet are acceptable for public broadcasting use by commentators it could have some effect. After all - young men are often vain and dread getting a bad nickname which could stay with them for years. Their only sensitivity is how they are perceived within their own little world.
In order for it to be effective the bad titles have to be funny or catchy in themselves of course in order to be effective.

The purpose of the exercise is to categorise this behaviour in order to establish a readily understood terminology. That way the downside for these idiots is the risk of getting a sticky label. Think of the way in which the term and concept "road rage" has changed the way in which magistrates deal with motorists who go beyond tooting their horn when angry and frustrated.
Taking Dan's Panda case for example, when girls meet him now maybe he's still chuffed to be "the guy who was on TV in the Panda suit". Maybe he won't be so popular if they call him "the Gimp in the Panda suit"

My suggested terminology given above - should I hope, work internationally (who didn't see Pulp Fiction?) I hereby request further opinions /suggestions. I realise that there will be many other suggested solutions but please humour me and provide your preferred titles for the three categories. If people support the idea I would propose to submit something appropriate to the cycling press and TV cycling commentators as a suggestion. We don't have much time but it is do-able. I have posted a similar thread in UK cycling forums. If it gets support in the English speaking cycling forums we can post it in Spanish/French/Italian etc

When the Tour starts next month, if you see someone on TV on top of Holme Moss in the UK decking a Giant Panda with a rugby tackle - it could be me......